National Parks & Wildlife Reserves

National Parks & Wildlife Reserves

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More than 25% of Costa Rica’s terrain is contained in national park, reserves, and refuges, protecting the country’s diverse wildlife and preserving the nation’s ecological heritage. Currently, 25 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 15 wetlands & mangrove reserves, 11 forest reserves, 8 biological reserves, and other protected areas comprise 161 total parks and 3,223,010 acres (1,304,306 hectares). The most popular national parks are Manuel Antonio National Park, Poas Volcano National Park, Irazu Volcano National Park, Tortuguero National Park, Marino Ballena National Park, Cahuita National Park, and Arenal Volcano National Park.


  • Manuel Antonio National Park

    Manuel Antonio National Park

    Manuel Antonio is one of the most visited national parks due to its incredible wildlife viewing and pristine white sand beaches. Here, the rainforest meets the ocean--something one must see in person to truly appreciate.

  • Arenal Volcano National Park

    Arenal Volcano National Park

    The Arenal National Park is on every tourist’s must list and while its perfect cone is sometimes hidden away under the clouds, no one ever leaves this area disappointed, quite the opposite. The park protects sixteen reserves that are...

  • Guanacaste National Park

    Guanacaste National Park

    Guanacaste National Park is located in the province of Guanacaste and lies adjacent to Santa Rosa National Park. This park was created in the year 1989,

  • Corcovado National Park

    Corcovado National Park

    Corcovado is a true wonder of the world, a magical place in the southern part of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, in the Osa Peninsula. It was declared by National Geographic to be one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth....

  • Tortuguero National Park

    Tortuguero National Park

    Located in the northeastern region of Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park is the third most popular park in the country. This park is part of the larger Tortuguero Conservation Area whose aim is to protect endangered species in the region.

  • The Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge

    The Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge

    Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge is the second-largest rainforest preserve in Costa Rica, and as such, is significantly quieter than some of the country's more easily accessible national parks. This park boasts more than 227,000 acres...

  • Tenorio Natonal Park

    Tenorio Natonal Park

    Tenorio National Park boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in Costa Rica. Home to the Rio Celeste and not one, but two volcanoes, Tenorio National Park is as idyllic as it is unique. The park is particularly popular with...

  • Chirripo National Park

    Chirripo National Park

    Chirripó National Park is located in the Talamanca Mountain Range, about 151 kms. from San José, in the southeastern region of the country. The park is home to the highest peak in Costa Rica: Cerro Chirripó (12,538 ft.) a favorite of...

  • Carara National Park

    Carara National Park

    Carara National Park is just an hour from San José and is home to one of the largest populations of wild Scarlet Macaws in the country.

  • Palo Verde National Park

    Palo Verde National Park

    Despite its location in Costa Rica's driest province, Palo Verde National Park sits at the estuary of the Rio Tempisque, making it a haven for many species of bird.

  • Las Baulas National Marine Park

    Las Baulas National Marine Park

    Marino las Baulas de Guanacaste National Park is another of Costa Rica’s important sea turtle nesting sites. Located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast in the Northern Province of Guanacaste near the tourist town of Tamarindo.

  • Cocos Island

    Cocos Island

    Hard to imagine that a country as popular as Costa Rica could have any part left of it considered to be undiscovered and under the radar, but unless you are an avid scuba diver that is most likely the case.

  • Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

    Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

    Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is located in the northern part of Costa Rica, only about two hours away from La Fortuna, which makes it a popular destination for nature lovers and travelers.

  • Juan Castro Blanco National Park

    Juan Castro Blanco National Park

    Juan Castro Blanco National Park is not only home to three volcanoes, but also the 10th most important body of freshwater in the world. The three mountainous peaks in the park feed five rivers – the Aguas Zarcas, Platanar, Tora, Tres...

  • Los Quetzales National Park

    Los Quetzales National Park

    The Quetzales National Park, declared in 2005, is the latest addition to the list of the National Parks of Costa Rica. It is set along the Talamanca Mountain range, and it mostly consists of cloud forest with an important plethora of...

  • Barbilla National Park

    Barbilla National Park

    Barbilla National Park is home to one of the highest points in the region, Cerro Tigre. This imposing mountain is perfect for avid hikers looking for their next challenge.

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